Storytelling in the prequels.

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Pardot Kynes
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Storytelling in the prequels.

Postby Pardot Kynes » 11 Feb 2008 15:55

We pretty much all agree the sequels are complete crap, and that the prequels cannot measure up to what Frank would have done had he wished to. However, I'm curious whether any of you enjoyed them as what they were- non canonical stories, that showed a glimpse of what the characters of Dune were like before Paul was of age.
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Postby Omphalos » 11 Feb 2008 16:50

I can't decide if I would have liked them any better if they werent Dune stories. Probably not, as the writing is absolute crap, aside from the stories sucking.

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Postby Freakzilla » 11 Feb 2008 16:51

I agree, I don't like space opera.

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Postby Pardot Kynes » 11 Feb 2008 17:24

I thought they would make good YA fiction, myself. Something to read just for the hell of it, or to pass the time.
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Postby Freakzilla » 11 Feb 2008 18:00

Pardot Kynes wrote:I thought they would make good YA fiction, myself. Something to read just for the hell of it, or to pass the time.


Yeah, that's possible. Then again, I was thirteen when I first read Dune. I have a hard time rating it above fan fiction, but I've read better fan fiction.

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Postby Pardot Kynes » 11 Feb 2008 18:11

Thats because most good writers start out writing fan fiction :P

Some choose to post it, some not.
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Postby Mandy » 11 Feb 2008 19:21

From the little bit that I've read online, I don't think I would enjoy them. I HATE the repetitiousness. I don't like books that don't assume I'm smart enough to get it the first time.

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Postby Simon » 11 Feb 2008 20:01

Freakzilla wrote:I agree, I don't like space opera.



I do! :lol: Maybe that's the problem! :lol:

Seriously, they are really good adventure tales, not quite the mind benders that DUNE thru GEoD were but on par with Heretics and CH:D
(I know you think this is crazy talk).

As I've said before they are just in a different style than the originals and are a bit more straight forward.
That may have something to do with writing styles varying from generation to generation. Modern writing styles seem more "to the point" than classic styles. Same goes for movies...

I like BH and KJA's writing, not that I'm some writing critic. I found their books (separate and joint works) easy to get into.

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Postby Tyrant » 11 Feb 2008 20:57

one thing i liked about the prequals was the story of pardot kynes...good stuff...however it wasnt until i recently read the appendixes of the original dune that the main story was based off of that...so who do i thank?..frank or kevin?....duh...frank

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Postby Freakzilla » 11 Feb 2008 22:05

Simon wrote:...but on par with Heretics and CH:D
(I know you think this is crazy talk).


Not crazy, BLASPHEMY! You'll smoke a turd in hell for that!

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Postby Omphalos » 11 Feb 2008 22:11

Simon wrote:Seriously, they are really good adventure tales, not quite the mind benders that DUNE thru GEoD were but on par with Heretics and CH:D. (I know you think this is crazy talk).


:roll:

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Postby Mr. Teg » 11 Feb 2008 22:13

Simon wrote:
Freakzilla wrote: As I've said before they are just in a different style than the originals and are a bit more straight forward.

That may have something to do with writing styles varying from generation to generation. Modern writing styles seem more "to the point" than classic styles. Same goes for movies...

I like BH and KJA's writing, not that I'm some writing critic. I found their books (separate and joint works) easy to get into.


Are you suggesting the old and new books are on the same level merely different styles?
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Postby GamePlayer » 11 Feb 2008 23:43

This message board needs a vomit smiley.

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You reading this Freak Z? :)

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Postby SandChigger » 11 Feb 2008 23:44

The problem is, Dune wasn't about action/adventures.

I probably wouldn't have been as bothered if they were just writing "adventure tales" set in the Duniverse. No, they had to frame it like they were giving us the history Frank Herbert didn't get around to writing, elevate their FANFIC to the same canon status as his books.

If you're going to reduce it to just a difference in writing styles, you'll have to admit that there are a lot of other writers out there with styles different than Frank Herbert's who write MUCH MUCH BETTER books.

Yes, their styles are different: The originals are well-written, the new poorly so.
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Postby Pardot Kynes » 12 Feb 2008 00:00

See, Simon, I can agree they made nice adventure novels. That's all though. And they weren't "good literature" either.
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Postby Freakzilla » 12 Feb 2008 00:47

GamePlayer wrote:This message board needs a vomit smiley.

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You reading this Freak Z? :)


I agree, we've got bigger sandtrout to fry first though...

Put it in the suggestion box!

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Postby Tleilax Master B » 12 Feb 2008 10:55

Simon wrote:
I do! :lol: Maybe that's the problem! :lol:

Seriously, they are really good adventure tales, not quite the mind benders that DUNE thru GEoD were but on par with Heretics and CH:D
(I know you think this is crazy talk).


:shock: Have you lost your freakin' mind?!?!? They aren't even in the same ball park as Heretics!

As I've said before they are just in a different style than the originals and are a bit more straight forward.

If you consider full of inconsistancies and errors straightforward, than yes. But considering I have found some inconsistancies between their own books (let alone Frank's), I call that damn sloppy work.

That may have something to do with writing styles varying from generation to generation. Modern writing styles seem more "to the point" than classic styles. Same goes for movies...

Sorry, but simplistic and poorly done does not equal "to the point" for me. They can't even develop believable characters or maintain a consistent plot without a deux ex machina bail out. Sorry, but IMHO they are pure, unadulterated crapola.


I like BH and KJA's writing, not that I'm some writing critic. I found their books (separate and joint works) easy to get into.

They are definately easy to read; I'll give you that. I just don't necessarily consider that to be a good thing......
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Postby GamePlayer » 12 Feb 2008 13:58

SandChigger wrote:If you're going to reduce it to just a difference in writing styles, you'll have to admit that there are a lot of other writers out there with styles different than Frank Herbert's who write MUCH MUCH BETTER books.

Yes, their styles are different: The originals are well-written, the new poorly so.


I couldn't agree more. Authors like Frank Herbert were good writers first. The fact that Frank Herbert also had a great imagination for science fiction was an added bonus. There are also many authors who are good writers that write science fiction, but I will also admit that there are many more lousy authors writing science fiction. It's one of the reasons the genre wallows in literary infamy. Mores the pity.

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Postby GamePlayer » 12 Feb 2008 13:59

Freakzilla wrote:I agree, we've got bigger sandtrout to fry first though...

Put it in the suggestion box!


Sure thing. I'll note it in the proper forum.

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Postby Simon » 13 Feb 2008 03:49

Freakzilla wrote:
Simon wrote:...but on par with Heretics and CH:D
(I know you think this is crazy talk).


Not crazy, BLASPHEMY! You'll smoke a turd in hell for that!


:lol: (very out loud! :) )

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Postby Simon » 13 Feb 2008 03:53

Mr. Teg wrote:
Simon wrote:
Freakzilla wrote: As I've said before they are just in a different style than the originals and are a bit more straight forward.

That may have something to do with writing styles varying from generation to generation. Modern writing styles seem more "to the point" than classic styles. Same goes for movies...

I like BH and KJA's writing, not that I'm some writing critic. I found their books (separate and joint works) easy to get into.


Are you suggesting the old and new books are on the same level merely different styles?


No, I'm suggesting the modern "dumbed-down" style is pervasive in everything and through out history. If you go back 300 years in literature and then follow it to the present you can see how each successive generation finds ways to trim dialogue and not be so wordy. I was saying that BH&KJA are merly products of their era, as are we all in our own ways...

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Postby Simon » 13 Feb 2008 04:01

As for the new books being "great liturature", I'll let history make that call.
I like them and other people to, so who knows. However, they may always get a bum rap but only because DUNE was so great. When you add on to "thee" original sci-fi universe, someone isn't going to be happy :cry:

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Postby tanzeelat » 13 Feb 2008 04:05

The BH/KJA books were not written. They were dictated by KJA as he rambled about the countryside near his house. It shows. The prequels display a tin ear for dialogue, a sentence structure better-suited to Dr Seuss, and the vocabularly of an ill-educated 16-year-old.

FH's book were at least written. His prose occasionally failed him, as in this passage from Dune:

His mother had undergone this test. There must be terrible purpose in it... the pain and fear had been terrible. He understood terrible purposes. They drove against all odds. They were their own necessity. Paul felt he had been infected with terrible purpose. He did not know yet what the terrible purpose was.

The later books - Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse Dune - are the best written of the series, although I think FH pushed some of his ideas a tad too far. Like Teg's super-speed. Or back-fitting in an entire Jewish underground culture to balance out the Islamic flavour of the Fremen.

But for really good FH writing, you need to look at his other works, such as The Green Brain or The Santaroga Barrier. His prose was at its best when the ideas were firmly in the background.

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Postby Simon » 13 Feb 2008 04:23

tanzeelat wrote:The BH/KJA books were not written. They were dictated by KJA as he rambled about the countryside near his house. It shows. The prequels display a tin ear for dialogue, a sentence structure better-suited to Dr Seuss, and the vocabularly of an ill-educated 16-year-old.

FH's book were at least written. His prose occasionally failed him, as in this passage from Dune:

His mother had undergone this test. There must be terrible purpose in it... the pain and fear had been terrible. He understood terrible purposes. They drove against all odds. They were their own necessity. Paul felt he had been infected with terrible purpose. He did not know yet what the terrible purpose was.

The later books - Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse Dune - are the best written of the series, although I think FH pushed some of his ideas a tad too far. Like Teg's super-speed. Or back-fitting in an entire Jewish underground culture to balance out the Islamic flavour of the Fremen.

But for really good FH writing, you need to look at his other works, such as The Green Brain or The Santaroga Barrier. His prose was at its best when the ideas were firmly in the background.


I liked the Green Brain but felt it was lacking (probably because it's just so short), I'll have to check out The Santaroga Barrier, haven't read it yet.

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Postby SandChigger » 13 Feb 2008 04:30

Ah...Tanz is BACK. :D

I believe in one of his blahgs, Kevin actually boasts about his "writing" style/method and how it connects him to the storytellers and narrative traditions of old.

Obviously oblivious to the fact that most of us aren't sitting around a fire listening to him go on and on, and that literature has moved indoors. ;)


I was going to observe that "dumbing-down" is NOT pervasive through history. But language change is. ;)

And that if The Hacks Twain are simply "products of their era", how do you explain the other GOOD writers (REAL writers) out there?

History will make the final decision, true, but here's what I see:

The new books will be forgotten except as footnotes...mentioned only as embarrassing aberrations, a reminder of how talent does indeed skip generations, a warning against avarice...whenever Dune is seriously discussed.
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